Saturday, September 24, 2011

World's Deadliest Volcano 'Mount Tambora, Indonesia' Not Likely to Repeat Killing Blast

Mount Tambora in Indonesia has been stirring lately, but don't expect another massive eruption from the so-called "world's deadliest volcano," one scientist said.

Tambora is famous for its 1815 eruption, the largest in recorded history, according to the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program. Tambora is a stratovolcano that forms the entire 37-mile- (60-kilometer) wide Sanggar Peninsula on northern Sumbawa Island. The 1815 eruption was so massive that pyroclastic flows — fast-traveling streams of hot ash and rock — reached the sea on all sides of the peninsula, killing 60,000 people.

The sulfur dioxide and other chemicals that the eruption spewed into the atmosphere circled the planet, blocking sunlight and cooling Earth's average temperature, creating a so-called "year without summer."

"It makes the St. Helens eruption look small," said Erik Klemetti, a volcanologist at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, and the author of the Big Think's Eruption's blog.

But Tambora's eruptions aren't always so huge, and there's no reason to think any looming eruption would be so deadly. In fact, having had such a large eruption as recently as 1815 (geologically speaking) makes it less likely that a similar eruption will happen anytime soon, Klemetti said. Read More